What will you do with a given opportunity for your business? Let it slip by or grab it with both hands? The latter obviously is what one should go for. But do you have it in you to take to the stage and speak publicly?
Attending networking events has become a regular especially since the local area is fairly new. It’s the perfect platform to meet likeminded people that share the same passion as oneself for business. Needless to say that when the invite came through to speak at an event via the first email opened on a Monday morning, it was a no-brainer to reply with an affirmative yes.
Don’t you find that kind of thing very daunting? was the response from some close friends. To be honest, perhaps because one’s mindset is different from the norm, it is not a scary thing at all. Actually, their is a huge feeling of satisfaction to share publicly one’s knowledge and approach to one of the loves of life which is that of being an entrepreneur.
Establish first off from the organiser what is required, where and when you should be ready for action. Once the practicalities are out of the way the time has come to put on that thinking-cap and get some thoughts together.
Deciding on the topic/s can be tricky depending on if it’s been covered before or if there are so many aspects to cover that there will not be enough time. Pinning down some ideas take a bit of time, but in the end the motto keep it short and sweet prevails and the framework for the talk is done. All that is needed now is to put some meat on those bones and you’re almost there. Next up is to create some visuals to accomplish your talk and most of the hard work is in hand.
There is the notion that you should follow the rule rehearse rehearse rehearse and that is good. However, there is also the notion that to over rehearse can kill some very important aspects of public speaking: authenticity and energy. Of course it is great to talk to an audience without any notes in hand, but rather have some pointers with you to refer to than ramble on and deliver a bunch of words without any passion. If there are a few days at hand before going live it’s good to have a run-through once a day. Obviously if time is not on your hands, more effort is needed as often as possible.
The Time Has Come
Before you know it the moment has arrived and you are introduced to your audience. Some adrenalin usually kicks in and the flutter of butterflies in your stomach is a good omen. After all, you are about to show people what you know and what you’re made of. This is here where those rehearsals will come very handy. You will portrait confidence and come across knowledgeable giving your audience a treat. Thus having your ducks in a row will only be a great part of your talk.
Prior to taking to the stage it is always a great idea to check and double check the available technology. Nothing is more disappointing than a failing monitor or presentation slides jumping all over the screen and even the hand remote behaving badly. It is common for these hiccups, and depending on the formality of the event an audience will accept and smile as they have seen it all before. From a speaker’s point of view, it can easily rattle your rhythm and throw you off guard. Best to make 100% sure gremlins are removed from all devices so you can get on with the most important part which is delivering information well.
Time usually flies by and in public speaking this can go by even faster. Sooner than you think you will receive a signal from the organiser at the back of the room that it’s time to wrap it up. Fingers crossed at this moment you have covered your main topics and are ready for the Q&A that usually follows.
Done and dusted. Applause and perhaps even a shout out/whistle here and there. Some greets with audience members and a well deserved coffee (or something stronger if you prefer) to sooth your dry throat. Pat yourself on the back. Well done to you!
Yes, it all sounds very easy, you say. Maybe you can’t comprehend how someone can take a stance and talk out loud with lots of people watching and listening. ‘I’ll never be able to do that’ is often a common thought. Honestly, you CAN do it. It may take time and even some media training, but it is not impossible.
The one thing that cannot be stressed enough is to NOT let the moment and opportunity go by because you feel it is not your kind of thing. At the end of the day it is your Brand up there and it is part and parcel of building and growing it. Please note that not all members of the audience will be neccasarily appreciative of what you said since there will always be haters around. Don’t let it throw you off track. Stand tall. Deliver. And most of all grow within yourself.
What is the aim in all of this? For people to remember Your Brand Once You’ve Left The Room.